February 19th, 2022
Throughout this entire COVID situation, I’ve been on a roller coaster. This hasn’t been a great year for travel, but I had the chance, so I needed to take it. The entire ship had to be quarantined for five days before arriving in Spain since more than 10 people were infected with COVID-19, and eventually that became 30 COVID cases. Because the Spanish authorities would not allow the boat to dock with more than 21 individuals sick, we were required to navigate the Mediterranean while waiting for the COVID cases to decrease.
After five days of only leaving our cabins during meal times, we received the news that we would be permitted to enter the Spanish territory, since the COVID cases decreased. We were all overjoyed and grateful. It was amusing since folks smiled at me everywhere I looked. We were all experiencing the same joy. The students, including me, were racing through the halls saying, “We’re going to Spain x2!” I was overjoyed!
When we arrived in Barcelona, I visited the most iconic sites, such as the Picasso Museum, La Sagrada Familia, and Park Guell. I studied about the famous architect Antonio Gaudí. I walked down the beach and, of course, I tried the tapas. I wanted to make the most of my time there, so I traveled alone, talked to random people, and asked questions. Speaking with a taxi driver, I discovered that Spain attracts a significant number of immigrants from Latin America and Eastern Europe. Venezuelans, Colombians, Italians, Ukrainians, and Argentinians were the fastest-growing immigrant groups in 2017. I met a lot of Colombians and Venezuelans, which was great because I am Latina, and I could feel at home for a bit.
I can’t help but notice the cultural contrasts or similarities whenever I visit a port. However, as I have indicated in previous blogs, five days in a country is insufficient time to learn about the country, its people, and its traditions. Because the majority of the taxi drivers I encountered were Latino immigrants, I asked about the distinctions between Latin Americans and Spaniards. All of them informed me that Spanish people tend to be straightforward when they don’t like something. They stated that they do not sugar coat anything. They are upfront about things.
This was fascinating to me since I feel I have difficulty saying no and being direct. We tend to have a negative association with the word “no,” although there is nothing wrong with disagreeing. One of the things I appreciate about Spaniards is that they speak with authority, which is something I aspire to. During this trip, I will put this into practice and see how it goes, of course, always being respectful.
Did you know this about Spanish people? I would love to read your thoughts.
Down below are some pictures of La Sagrada Familia, and a pic of me in Park Guell :)